The suspected terrorist who tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 Christmas day did present a passport to authorities in Amsterdam before boarding the Detroit-bound plane, Holland's counter-terrorism agency said Wednesday.
Abdulmutallab arrived in Amsterdam on Friday from Lagos, Nigeria. After a layover of less than three hours, he passed through a security check at the gate in Amsterdam, including a hand baggage scan and a metal detector, officials said.
Abdulmutallab was carrying a valid Nigerian passport and had a valid U.S. visa, the Dutch said. His name did not appear on any Dutch list of terror suspects.
The confirmation on Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab's passport comes after a fellow passenger claimed to have seen a possible accomplice help the 23-year-old Nigerian board the flight.
Special Report: The Christmas Day Terror Attack
Kurt Haskell, a Michigan resident returning home from a safari in Uganda with his wife, told the Detroit Free Press that he noticed Abdulmutallab "because of who he was traveling with" - a wealthy looking Indian man in his 50s.
Haskell, who was playing cards near the ticket counter at Schipol Airport, said the Indian man told ticket agents that Abdulmutallab "needs to board the plane, but he doesn't have a passport. ... He's from Sudan. We do this all the time."
But the Dutch counter-terrorism unit's investigation into Abdulmutallab's passport pokes holes in the theory that the alleged bomber had help evading security.
Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to detonate an explosive device, which included the highly explosive chemical PETN as the flight prepared to land. The device, which was hidden in the suspect's pants, malfunctioned allowing fellow passengers to subdue the attacker.
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In a preliminary report on Wednesday, the Dutch government said the plan to blow up the Detroit-bound aircraft was professional but called its execution "amateurish."
Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst said Abdulmutallab apparently assembled the device in the aircraft toilet, then planned to detonate it with a syringe of chemicals. She said the explosives appeared to have been professionally prepared and had been given to Abdulmutallab, but did not elaborate.
"The approach in this case shows - despite the failure of the attack - a fairly professional approach," said a summary of the investigation so far. "Pentrite is a very powerful conventional explosive, which is not easy to produce yourself, nor is its production without risk."
After his arrest, Abdulmutallab told FBI investigators he was working for al Qaeda. On Monday, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula officially for the attempt, saying it was in response to U.S. operations against them in Yemen.
In the wake of the attack, the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities have come under attack for failing to recognize the threat posed by Abdulmutallab. In August, the CIA began tracking information on a person dubbed but had no firm identity on the suspect, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.
In the months leading up to the attack, Abdulmutallab's father expressed concerns about his son's extremist religious views to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria, but officials failed to connect the dots. While Abdulmutallab was placed on a government watch list, he was not put on a no-fly list.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama demanded a preliminary report by Thursday from U.S. security authorities on what went wrong. Mr. Obama said the intelligence community should have been able to piece together information that would have raised "red flags" and possibly prevented Abdulmutallab from boarding the airliner.
"There was a mix of human and that contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security," Mr. Obama told reporters in Hawaii, calling the intelligence shortcomings "totally unacceptable."
"There were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have - and should have - been pieced together," he said.
"Had this critical information been shared, it could have been compiled with other intelligence, and a fuller, clearer picture of the suspect would have emerged," Mr. Obama said. "The warning signs would have triggered red flags, and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America."
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